Preventing iron deficiency…
“Not an easy task on a restricted diet” – that’s what the dietician said, so now I don’t feel so bad that Zac’s levels were low in the blood test results. Apparently most people struggle to get enough iron in their diet and for little ones, particularly those with restrictions, it is even tougher.
Ironically, when the blood test results were posted to us – they came with a tip sheet on how to get the iron into his diet – and many of the suggested sources were ‘unavailable’ to us, e.g. Weetabix, Cheerios, Shreddies, Weetabix, wholemeal bread, nuts, eggs. I guess this is a standard sheet – but it would be useful if they had one for those on restricted diets. So this blog post is my attempt at creating one.
We are avoiding nuts and eggs, until the next round of testing. He does have eggs cooked into things, but on this diet sheet it says egg yolk is a good source of iron, and there is no way I will try him on a ‘dippy egg’ or anything similar until we are 100% certain that it won’t cause a reaction. Same goes for nuts. He has food that says ‘may contain traces of nuts’ – but I am not about to give him peanut butter or a handful of almonds until we know for sure that he is ok with these too.
Yesterday was a big day. Zac had his follow up appointment with the allergy specialist to discuss his blood test results. He also had an appointment with the dietician. I am happy to report it all went well.
Zac was very anxious going in for the first appointment and when we walked past the room where he’d had the blood test last time, he pointed it out and shuddered! When the bloods were taken (over 3 months ago) he was extremely traumatised. He had to have 4 vials of blood taken, from each arm. They had put numbing cream and a plasters over both elbows to prepare the skin – but perhaps unsurprisingly, Zac had an ‘allergic’ reaction to those and looked like he had been branded with a hot iron when they removed them. Rather than numbing his skin it was ‘on fire’ and he screamed the place down.
Anyway, yesterday we saw the dietician first and she was lovely. He cried when he first entered her room but she had a lovely manner and soon assured him that she wouldn’t hurt him. He’d had his height and weight checked on arrival and she said that they were perfect and she could see he was thriving. We had a discussion about his current diet etc and she confirmed that his anxieties about foods are normal and it is ok for me to ‘sneak’ foods in with whizzed up pasta sauces etc, as it is crucial we get the good stuff in him, by any means.
When I started this blog, 11 months ago, I hoped that I could use it to reach out to others facing the daily challenges of living with and feeding an intolerant or allergic child. I was pleasantly surprised about how steadily my following grew and I have learned so much from them, many I now regard as friends.
When I found out about the MAD blog awards, I decided to enter because I thought it might provide a platform to get my (many messages) out there and raise awareness of the struggles so many face just trying to get a proper diagnosis, let alone treatment.
Making it to the final was a great surprise and I just want to thank everyone who has supported me with their words of encouragement and votes. But we are not quite there yet. One final stage to go.
I am one of the five finalists in the Best New Blog category. Nominations close on 26th March and I would be very grateful if you could support me with one last vote. Here is the link.
I am in a tough category, and feel very honoured to be in such great company. Just to get this far feels amazing and I am so excited at the prospect of meeting all the other finalists at the awards ceremony later in the year.
Thank you all.
Since Zac’s allergies and intolerances developed, I have become aware of just how hard it is to find a good range of ‘free from’ foods – never more so than at Easter! The ranges available in supermarkets, vary from store to store, and you never know if a favourite brand will disappear never to return. The supermarkets seem to enjoy cashing in our misfortune and charge insane amounts of money for these foods, so it is always nice to come across a new stockist.
I have blogged before about Love Lactose Free Life, an online ‘chocolate shop’ that also sells great books and is looking to expand their ranges. It is managed by a very entrepreneurial and friendly lady who also has a great blog , and sadly struggles with intolerances herself and has found this business is her way of helping others in the same boat.
In fact, I have just bought some Easter eggs from her as she sells a lot of the Mini Moo dairy free chocolate range and they are Zac’s favourites. The supermarkets are putting in a very poor show at supporting a dairy free Easter this year, and I have only found a handful of eggs in Sainsbury’s – nothing in my local Tesco, Asda or Waitrose. So if you are having the same struggle, head over to Love Lactose Free Life, as she will no doubt sell out soon.
In the wake of the recent revelations about horse meat finding its way into the food chain, it is not surprising to see that the supermarkets are releasing sales figures that show that our shopping behaviour has changed already. For those who live with food intolerance and allergy, scrutinising every ingredient in every product is a way of life but now it seems many others are starting to think like us and thinking hard about how to protect our families from ‘rogue’ ingredients that can damage health.
I have mentioned many times in this blog, my concern at the fact that so many of our children have allergies and intolerances, yet older generations did not. There are multiple theories surrounding this, we are too clean, some of us are too dirty, we didn’t eat nuts during pregnancy, we did eat nuts, our environment has changed and we eat the wrong foods. Obviously most of these articles were probably given front page prominence in the Daily Mail – just to terrify us mothers even more and remind us all that just living can kill you! But when you calm down and try and read some sensible articles the more confusing it gets. Just last week I read that eating too much fruit can aggravate eczema and too much soya can give you cancer. So what is a healthy food and solution for some people is ‘poison’ to others and life just continues to get more complicated.